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ALL NEW, But all so old.

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Hey Guys,


It's great to be here, and where I'm at now. I'm 29 years old and been working on cars/race cars etc since I was old enough to read numbers and fetch wrenches for my father. He owned a shop for quite some time ago and sold it. He was and still is trying to keep me out of this line of work, but with a wife, two kids, and the economy it really didn't seem like a good idea to go back to college and get into health care (LOL).


I just started my shop last June. I'm currently renting space (500.00/mo) from a good friend of mine who has been selling import performance parts and acessories in the same location for 10 years. He already had a tire machine, and balancer, and has been selling big 24" tires, and low profile tires to the import crowd but doing everything on the ground as far as tire service not much for appearance or profesionalism. I started back in March of last year helping him out here and there with tires (just hanging out mainly), having no idea or want to get back into working on cars again. It started with some tie rods on a sebring, working with what little tools he had. Turned into wheel bearings, sway bar bushings, etc. So I went home grabbed my carry around tool box loaded a few tools to finish the job without banging my head trying to go through his harbor freight collection. About a week later I moved MY tool box in, put his tools back in his bucket, and back in the closet. Went to my storage unit grabbed torches, welder, and everything else. Called Snap On, got Automotive Expert, comercial accounts with local parts stores, imc, worldpac, lake county, etc, etc, etc.


My friend and I had talked about opening up a shop together for the last eight years or so, him as the money player so to speak. Well when it came down to it after the previous mentioned snow ball effect of additional work for me in the shop. His butt hole started to pucker at the cost of some of the equipment, and thought that it wasn't the right time due to the economy to try to start a shop out of his existing cluttered warehouse.


So I kept on keeping on as Joe Dirt once said. Found ebay as a great source for the nickel and dime tools I never had to have, or I worked around not having them. Picked up a Branick wall mount spring compressor for 125.00, started doing alignments w/ string, salt, tiles, level, ruler, and calculator. Since thats how we did things primarily at the race track, and relativley inexpensive compared to pricey alignment machines, and equipment I couldn't afford. Brakes and suspension for the most part kept me going just from his tire sales.


I found a used Snap On circa 1985-1992 WA5000 alignment rack (in good condition), with matching Snap On alignment machine (string type), moved to the shop, I installed it for a total of 1800.00. The machine didn't work, Snap On wouldn't support it, they gave me the run around, said they couldn't even calibrate it, only wanted to sell me a new machine for 50K (HAD TO BE A LINE OF BS). I politely told them that I would only be buying hand tools from them and to never come back and try to sell me any shop equipment ever again. So I found a Hunter C111 (string system) with 8 heads for 500.00, and am doing alignments now, (faster than before).


Just recently picked up a Genisys Evo 4 w/ smoke machine for 2500.00, cash payments when I can afford to from another good friend ( with no interest)


All in all now I am glad his butt hole puckered. I have no business partner. I have one technician working beside me six days a week flat rate, and piece rate on tire changes. I'm definately not raking in the dough. But I'm happy, stressed, but yet content. I pay 480.00 a month for rent, and all expenses for the building/ shop space I use. And have been steadily busy for the past three months. Hoping it stays this way, and goes along way.


Hopefully I'll be able to learn alot from this site, as I am in just the early stages, and sure can use all the help I can get.




Ben Bingamon


A Division of High Point Dynamic

Huber Heights, OH

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